Classic Oxford turned Casual Camp Shirt with Handmade Boy

I often hear that sewing for boys is boring…Kelly from Handmade Boy is here today to prove you wrong! I think her 4 year old has the best wardrobe I’ve ever seen 🙂 Keep on reading for a fun tutorial to mix things up a bit with the Classic Oxford

Classic Oxford turned Casual Camp Shirt

Hello Peek-a-Boo fans! I’m Kelly from Handmade Boy and I am so excited to be a part of the new blog team here. I have a bunch of fun things I can’t wait to share with you. Today I am going to be showing you how to turn the Classic Oxford Button-Up into a casual camp shirt.


To make the oxford shirt a more casual shirt, we are going to first modify the pattern pieces a bit. If you have never modified a pattern before, don’t worry! It’s really easy! Let’s get started!

The first thing we are going to do to make this shirt more casual, is straighten out the hem line.  To do this, trace the front pattern piece as is, except for the hem line. (Original pattern lines are in black marker.) When you get to the bottom hem line, take a straight edge and line it up along the lowest edge of the front hem. Make sure you are lining it up to make a right angle with the side seam.  You want a nice straight hem. Draw a line extending the lowest edge to the side seam of the original pattern.


Next, lengthen your side seam to meet up with your new straight hem.


 Be sure to use a straight edge to get this nice and straight. Above you can see the original pattern in black and my new straight hem in red. See how easy that was! Now we are going to work on the back piece.


Measure the length of your new side seam.

Using the measurement of the new side seam from the front pattern piece, extend the side seam of the original back pattern piece.



Now, take your straight edge and draw a straight line starting at the end of the line you just drew to the fold line on the back pattern piece. Notice that your new hem line is shorter than the original pattern. That is because classic oxfords have a lower hem line in the back than they do in the front.

Here are what your new pattern pieces will look like. The original pattern is traced in black, the modifications are in red.


See how easy that was!

The next thing we are going to switch up is the collar stand. The original pattern has a curved collar stand where the collar stand meets up with the button placket. We are simply going to straighten that out so it is more squared.


Now, this is super easy. Just take your original collar stand piece and lay it on your fabric on the fold. Then place a ruler, on the pattern piece, lining it up along the top of the collar stand with the end lined up with the end of the collar stand. Cut the new piece using the edge of the ruler as your guide to make a squared end.


This is what your new piece will look like compared to the original. Not a huge change, but subtle changes like this help make this shirt more casual.

After you are done modifying your pattern pieces, you simply sew up the shirt following the instructions in the classic oxford pattern using the short sleeve version with some very minor changes. Easy right!

The first minor change is the collar stand. You attach it the same way the directions state, except sew a straight line instead of a curve along the end of the collar stand. Trim the seam allowance at the end of the collar stand down to 1/8″ and clip the corner to reduce the bulk.


After you have the collar stand in place and have followed the instructions to turn it right side out and topstitch in place, leave off the button and button hole you are instructed to sew onto the collar stand.


See? No button at the collar stand.

To hem, follow the same instructions in the pattern, you just have a straight edge instead of a curved hem.


There you have it! You have a very simple camp shirt like below.


Now, say you want to take it a step farther and add some extra touches like cuffed short sleeves and button tabs to the sleeves….

Say something like this.


Well, you’re in luck! I’m going to show you how to do that as well!


I know! Contain your excitement! And I promise, these too are very easy changes. We will be making up our own pattern piece, but I know you can handle it. Do all the things we talked about above with straightening out the hem line and squaring off the collar stand piece.

Now, we are going to change up the original button tab piece. We are going to square off the end, just like we did with the collar stand. Lay the ruler on top of the original pattern piece lining up the edge with the side of the button tab and the end of the ruler with the tip of the button tab. Cut straight across the end so you end up with a new button tab like below.


Next, we are going to make a pattern piece to create the cuffs at the bottom of the sleeves.

Lay out your sleeve piece and measure how long the bottom hem is.


Now, cut a strip that matches that length and is 2 1/2″ wide. Wondering where that width came from? I want my cuff 1″ wide on my shirt. I need to double this because we are folding the strip in half, giving us 2″. Then we need to add seam allowances, I used 1/4″ seam allowance for this piece so I wouldn’t loose a lot of length on the sleeve. Because we are folding the strip in half before attaching, we need to add the seam allowance to both sides. So we need to add 1/2″ to the width giving us the final number 2 1/2″. Sorry, sewing has math sometimes. 😉

Here is the strip you will end up with compared to the sleeve. You need two, remember, one for each sleeve.


That takes care of our pattern pieces. Ready to sew? Follow the directions for the classic oxford short sleeve version up to the point of attaching the sleeves. Sew those babies on, then wait! Now the changes come in.

Sew together the button tabs just like the directions in the pattern states. Don’t stress about adding the button hole, we don’t need it. After you sew the button tabs together, fold the raw edge under by 1/4″ to the wrong side and press. Then fold the button tab in half so that one end is 1/2″ longer than the other and press. It will look like the button tab below. Remember to do this to both button tabs!


Now open up the shirt so the sleeve is facing you, wrong side up. Place the button tab in the center of the sleeve with the wrong sides matching and the crease of the fold on the button tab lined up with the raw edge of the sleeve.


Sew into place just like stated in the original directions. Make sure it is straight first! Pinning it in two places can help with this if you have trouble keeping the button tab in place.

Now sew the side seams in place as stated in the classic oxford directions. But don’t hem your sleeves!

Now to work on the cuffs. With the wrong sides together, fold the cuff pieces you created in half length wise and press.


Now unfold and with the RIGHT sides together, line up the short ends and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.


Now refold the cuff, wrong sides together along the pressed crease so you have a loop of fabric.

With your shirt inside out, slide the cuff onto the end of the sleeve lining up the raw edges of the cuff and the sleeve. Sew into place using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Watch out for your button tab! Pin it out of the way if needed. Finish off the raw edge using either a serger or a zig zag stitch.


Turn your shirt right side out and pull out the cuff. Press the seam allowance towards the shoulder of the shirt.


Now fold the cuff up towards the shoulder and press. Look how clean the inside of your sleeve is! Beautiful!


Now pull out your button tab and fold it up into place wrapping it up around the new cuff of your sleeve. (Ignore that the button tab is folded under at the end. Sorry about that!)


Now sew a button on the end of the button tab attaching it to the sleeve of your shirt. This is purely decorative, which is why we didn’t need to make a button hole. Aren’t we tricky!


Now return to the classic oxford directions to finish out your shirt making the changes to the collar stand we talked about above.

While you finish that out, I’ll hang out here and admire some little touches I like to do to my boy’s clothing to make it extra special. For example, check out how I use contrasting fabrics for a touch of fun.


Sure, they aren’t super noticeable when the shirt is on, but we know they are there, which makes it fun! It’s kinda like when you wear your favorite tee shirt under a hoodie. Nobody else knows you are wearing your favorite tee shirt, but knowing it’s there makes you smile.

This shirt sure made my little guy smile!


These little changes are a great way to get a more casual look with the Classic Oxford Button-Up.

We have it paired with the tee shirt from the Day Camp Set and the Castaway Cargos in a light weight denim rolled up to create a capri length pant.


He is one styling four year old in his Peek-a-Boo wardrobe. Now tell me boy sewing is dull and boring! Go ahead, try it!

That’s right, you can’t!

The simple camp shirt version is paired with the Maui Muscle Tee and the Castaway Cargos shorts version.


Okay, now for fun, original long sleeve version of the Classic Oxford in woven and in flannel.


Gaaah! Look how tiny he is!

And then the camp shirt version.


Did you know the Classic Oxford Button-Up was THAT versatile!? Crazy, right!

So now what are YOU going to do with it?


4 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Get 25+ FREE

Sewing Patterns


The Coupon Code for the 25+ Free Patterns is in your E-mail.



Keep enjoying our Blog or check out our Website

for great deals on sewing patterns and fabric!